Jude’s Birthday !

For Jude’s birthday (on Monday) we decided to have a picnic lunch beside Lake Bala with her family.  We then set off to Harlech for a fabulous (and a little romantic) dinner at the Castle Cottage. The room, dinner and breakfast were superb.

Latterbarrow and Esthwaite Water

Our last walk in the Lakes took us up to the top of Latterbarrow, where you get 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside, including a great view of Lake Windermere.  Then it was time to pack up and head south, but not before a last photoshoot by the side of Esthwaite Water.  The weather hasn’t been the best, but I’m sure we will be returning to this wonderful corner of England.

Sunshine and showers on Lingmoor Fell

After a day of mostly rain yesterday, we took to the hills again today.  Our choice was Lingmoor Fell which gives fantastic views of the bigger mountains around The Lakes.  The pictures don’t reflect the on-off nature of the rain and sun, but it was a fabulous walk starting and finishing near the Three Shires Inn in Little Langdale.

Lakes – Tarn Hows walk

Our journey has taken us across to the Lake District, arguably the most picturesque part of England. (So let’s hope I can do it justice!)  Our plan is to tackle a few walks, starting today with a low level, circular route to Tarn Hows from our base in Hawkshead.  This choice was partly forced upon us because the road was closed this morning for the Windermere marathon, which started 4 miles up the road towards Ambleside.

Hull to York

After spending a couple of nights seeing my family in Hull, we drove across to Sheffield to stay with my daughter, Sarah, and her boyfriend, Karl.  My thanks go to Karen, Stephen & Beverley and Sarah & Karl for all their hospitality.  We then spent 2 hectic days in York, playing golf, having a bit of a retirement celebration with some of my ex-colleagues in some of the best pubs in York and then going to the races on Friday. My thanks therefore also go to Martin and Jan for looking after us so well.  The golf match between, Martin, myself and our friends, Ian and Janice, deserves a special mention, as the result was a 4-way tie !  (See picture of the scorecard).

The grand depart…

After weeks (indeed months) of planning and preparation, our UK “Pipe and Slippers Tour” finally got off the ground at 9:45am on Saturday, 9th May.  The first part of our journey took us, by car, across Switzerland, through France and on to a fantastic B&B called Aioli in the small village of Maissin in Belgium. Our hosts, Pierre and Francoise, were particularly welcoming and our evening meal was superb.  Like many villages in this area of Belgium, it had been the scene of a particularly fierce battle in August 1914, where thousands of French and German soldiers died.

The following day we continued through some very beautiful Belgian villages and countryside to the port of Zeebrugge, where we spent the night on the ferry, before arriving at my ‘home’ town of Kingston upon Hull.

Like the recent cycle race, ‘Le Tour’ continues around Yorkshire, to Sheffield tomorrow then on to York.

Aperitif time

I didn’t think I’d done much today to blog about. The bric-a-brac market in Sion is not THAT exciting, though we did buy an old pair of wooden skis to adorn the chalet. But we were just sitting on the balcony, taking in the views and doing some bird watching and I thought it was worth a few words and photos.  Apart from the usual great tits and blackbirds, we saw a chaffinch, a jay, a spotted woodpecker and a song thrush (see not so good pic).  We also heard a bullfinch and a goldfinch.  All of this in the space of half an hour.